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Sleeper Spotlight: St. Louis Rams

As part of the premium content package, we’re not only releasing exclusive team capsules (complete with commentary), but also focusing on one sleeper from all 32 teams in the NFL.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about than we had room for in the dynasty capsules for each team. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.

We’ll just never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Mathews or even someone like Stevan Ridley. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, we figure there’s value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and even re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league. You may even consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this Summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.

Danny Amendola, WR STL
Age: 26 (11/2/85) 

Few will argue that last year was a season most of the St. Louis Rams roster wants to forget. Count our St. Louis Rams sleeper, Danny Amendola, as chief among those hoping for bout of one year amnesia.

Amendola presents a very interesting sleeper for those willing to take a risk on drafting any player from the Rams, because, let’s face it, the Rams players aren’t generally fantasy football factors. What sets Amendola apart is the fact that he seems to be a major factor in the Rams 2010 success and his disappearance seems to have been an equally major factor in their 2011 decline.

During his 2010 campaign Amendola pulled down 85 receptions for 689 yards, placing him ninth among all wide receivers for receptions, and one reception less than the player he is most commonly compared to, the perennial reception machine known as Wes Welker. Amendola was once again poised to take his spot among the reception leaders 2011 as the clear favorite of 2010’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, Sam Bradford. Amendola came out in the Rams season opener against the Eagles and made his impact known immediately, catching five passes through three complete quarters.

Then fate intervened.

During the Rams second play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, Amendola severely dislocated his left elbow. The injury looked brutal and it was feared at the time that he had broken his arm. The news of a dislocation raised the spirits of Amendola, the Rams franchise and Rams fans with the estimated time for recovery placed at 4-6 weeks. Amendola returned to practice after only three weeks but re-injured his arm by tearing his tricep. The combination of his elbow being dislocated for a second time and a torn tricep effectively ended Amendola’s 2011 campaign before it even got off the ground.

A new season is upon us and the promise of Amendola’s talent is just to alluring to me to recommend anyone but him as the St Louis Rams sleeper. Last year, Amendola was coming off the board at #100 overall based upon MyFantasyLeague.com’s ADP data, right between dynasty favorites Rob Gronkowski (98) and CJ Spiller (102). This year, however, Amendola can be had right around #166 – a 60% drop in value for a player who was a top ten reception leader only a year earlier. This year, Amendola has gone completely undrafted in well over a quarter of all the drafts included in the ADP data! Normally this would be understandable when a player misses an entire year with an injury. However, not all injuries are created equal.

Amendola’s injury to his arm presents no negative affects to his speed or cutting ability and does not present any elevated risk of re-injury. With Bradford seemingly unable to connect with any other receivers currently on the Rams roster in the way he has connected with Amendola and the presence of two new rookie wide receivers as possible starters, Amendola will likely be leaned upon heavily in the passing game.

The good news is that he may possibly be found on your waiver wire, can likely be had late in your draft, could be undervalued in trade discussions or in some cases, could go undrafted completely in a start-up draft. Most sleepers have potential that hasn’t been tapped yet; however, Amendola has already displayed his talent for all to see. The unique circumstances Amendola finds himself in makes him a must own in PPR leagues. Based on his reduced ADP value this year, Amendola must be considered a sleeper target who possesses incredible upside.

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Sensei John Kreese
9 years ago

Will he be splitting time with Salas in the slot this year?

zack davis
Reply to  Sensei John Kreese
9 years ago

Salas has been moved to the outside.

Steve Reyland
9 years ago

Amendola is not a sleeper. As you commented, he is the only sure thing on the Rams roster and a possession force to reckoned with.

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